Discovery: Bubbles


Published February 15, 2011



Just as the police crashed their dance party in a Soho loft, Bubbles lead singer Jason P. Grisell was leading a rousing group sing-along of “Happy Birthday” for his bandmate, Alain Levitt (also a photographer and restaurant owner). Thankfully, the duo had already finished playing a complete set of songs from their debut EP, newly released as a Playbutton mp3 set, with artwork by Aurel Schmidt. We talked Grisell off the windowsill (which he’d ended up commandeering as a perilous makeshift stage) and asked him about the enduring romance of synth pop.

NAMES: Alain Levitt and Jason P. Grisell

HOMETOWNS: Los Angeles (Levitt); San Francisco (Grisell).

WHO DOES WHAT: Alain does the beats.  Jason does the vocals. We collaborate on all the music and electronics in between.

IN THE BEGINNING: We met through [costume designer] Christian Joy, my wife. Alain started sending me tracks he was making in email. It went back and forth from Manhattan to Brooklyn through the Interweb.

HEROES: Vince Clarke—we would love to record in his studio The Lodge. He has an epic collection of vintage synths. Plus, he is a pop songwriting genius. Jimmy Carter is also our hero, for obvious reasons. The man had the vision to put solar panels on the White House, for God’s sake!

DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND: A fan at one of our shows was overheard saying, “They sound like a cross between the Pet Shop Boys and Suicide.”

A LYRIC THAT SUMS UP BUBBLES: “When I want to see you, the weather don’t mean a thing.”

WHAT IS A PLAY BUTTON? The coolest fucking format of the 21st century.

ATLANTIC CITY OR LAS VEGAS?   Atlantic City… it’s where Alain and his wife, Kama, fell in love. Enough said.